The cachet of being a dissenter
I'm fascinated with how people interact with each other. This certainly traces back to my work in outdoor education where a big portion of the experience was in participants becoming aware of such things...and an even bigger part of the facilitator's job was to notice the group dynamics and adjust the experiences based on what we saw. It was intriguing to see how completely different the approaches of two different groups might be to a given problem. And then to structure later challenges based on what we'd seen.
So sometimes I like to just observe things going on online and think of them in the same terms, the same frame of mind. And if you want especially childish behavior, check out sports articles that allow for comments, like those on Foxsports. There's plenty of other childishness around as well, of course, including in the spec fic communities. But it isn't really childishness I wanted to blog about today.
What I'm finding entertaining at the moment is how proudly some people single themselves out as having a different opinion. "Well, I guess I'll be the lone voice saying..." "Looks like I'm the dissenting voice..." "I suppose my preferences are different then..."
That's great--much better than sycophantism or taking pride in conforming. But what really had me laughing yesterday or the day before was a discussion where people were debating a certain aspect of writing. A number of people started speaking their preference for one side until someone came along and mentioned that they'd be a dissenting voice and argue the other way. A bunch of people then piled on in support of this person...to the point that a page or more of comments later, someone jumped in as the lone voice of dissension to argue on the side of the original preferences (apparently unaware of all those who'd already agreed...). Each of the two seemed to take almost a martyr's tone with their reply. And the dynamics that followed of what others had to say were great fun from an observer's seat.
Now with some things it does take genuine courage to speak a dissenting view, and I'm proud of those who do. But to claim the martyr's mantle in a topic like this was simply comical.